We're Headed to Sheep & Wool!

Join ABRAMS in Rhinebeck, NY for the annual New York State Sheep & Wool Festival.

We'll be joined by 3 of our talented authors this weekend:

Amy Herzog

In-booth signing: (Building B) Saturday 1 - 2 PM and Sunday 11 - 12 PM


Wendy Bernard

In-booth signing: (Building B) all day Saturday and Sunday.


Norah Gaughan

In-booth signing: (Building B) Saturday 10 - 12:30 PM and 1:30 - 4:30 PM; Sunday 10 to 12:30 PM and 1:30 - 4:30 PM

We hope to see you there!

Get Norah Gaughan's Knitted Cable Sourcebook Signed at The Sheep & Wool Festival

Named one of “Vogue Knitting’s” Master Knitters of the 1990s, Norah Gaughan shares over 150 new and innovative cable stitch patterns in her newest book, Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook. This guide for the modern knitter will help knitters design their own cable knits, and mix and match cables into unique patterns. 

Norah Gaughan has served as design director for Berroco Yarns and JCA Yarns, designed for Adrienne Vittadini, and published patterns in all the leading knitting and textile magazines. She is the author of Knitting NatureComfort Knitting & Crochet: Afghans, and Comfort Knitting & Crochet: Babies & Toddlers.

This weekend, get your copy of Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook signed at The New York State Sheep & Wool Festival.

  • Saturday, Oct 15: Building B: 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, Oct 16: Building B: 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Knitlandia is here! Read a sample chapter today.

Today's the day! We're excited to present the latest memoir from the esteemed Clara ParkesKnitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World, available now! For a sneak peek from the book, read sample chapter "From Baseball to Broadway: Swatching in the Big Apple" here

In addition to her physical book tour that we posted about last week (first stop: launch party in Somerville, Mass tonight, next stop-- NYC tomorrow!), Clara also has a blog tour lined up later this month. Hope you will join us on our blog tour, below: 

Feb 22           Knit and Tonic 

Feb 24           My Sister’s Knitter 

Feb 26           Mary Jane Muckelstone 

Feb 29           Knit Circus

March 2          Yarniacs 

March 4          Leethal 

March 7          Tin Can Knits

March 17         Marly Bird

Clara Parkes is knitting her way to a city near you on the Knitlandia tour!

Beloved knitter and author Clara Parkes has been charming readers across the globe with her heartwarming, hilarious, and humble tales of a life in knitting. In her latest memoir, Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World, Parkes weaves her personal blend of wisdom and humor into this eloquently down-to-earth guide that is part personal travel narrative and part cultural history, touching the heart of what it means to live creatively.

Building on the success of The Yarn Whisperer, Parkes’s rich personal essays invite readers and devoted crafters on excursions to be savored, from a guide who quickly comes to feel like a trusted confidante. Join Clara as she takes you along on 17 of her most memorable journeys across the globe over the last 15 years, with stories spanning from the fjords of Iceland to a cozy yarn shop in Paris’s 13th arrondissement.

...And now you can join her in real time as she celebrates the release of Knitlandia on 2/16—coming to a city near you starting next week!

As an added bonus, if you purchase a book at any of the tour stops, you'll get a free (and very cute, in our humble opinion) gift with purchase! Plus, you'll be supporting local indie booksellers—a win for everyone!

Can't make it to the tour? You can still follow along online with Clara's blog tour! We'll post an updated tour schedule later this month, with "tour stops" beginning 2/22. Check back for more info!

 

The Modern Natural Dyer hits stores this week, plus a blog tour and chance to win!

When we look through the pages of Kristine Vejar's debut book, The Modern Natural Dyer, we're met with a sense of wonder about the origins of the natural hues that color our world. Officially on sale this week, Vejar demystifies that process, sharing user-friendly techniques for dyeing yarn, fabric, and finished goods at home with foraged and garden-raised dyestuffs and natural dye extracts.

In explicit, easy-to-follow detail, Vejar explains how to produce consistent, long-lasting color. With stunning photography of the dyes themselves, the dyeing process, and 20 projects for home and wardrobe (some to knit, some to sew, and some just a matter of submerging a finished piece in a prepared bath), The Modern Natural Dyer is a complete resource for aspiring and experienced dye artisans.

We were lucky enough to have the chance to learn about natural dyes and processes straight from Kristine as she kicked off her book release tour on the east coast this past week.

Kristine Vejar signing copies of her book,  The Modern Natural Dyer , for fans at The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/17/15. Photo credit: Mamie VanLangen

Kristine Vejar signing copies of her book, The Modern Natural Dyer, for fans at The NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/17/15. Photo credit: Mamie VanLangen

Kristine Vejar speaking about natural dyeing techniques in her new book,  The Modern Natural Dyer , at the Tales of Yarn demo area at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/18/15. Photo credit: Melissa Esner

Kristine Vejar speaking about natural dyeing techniques in her new book, The Modern Natural Dyer, at the Tales of Yarn demo area at the NYS Sheep & Wool Festival on 10/18/15. Photo credit: Melissa Esner

We were also thrilled to welcome Kristine into our office to show us a thing or two about natural dyeing techniques this week!  Click through the gallery below to see images from our demo session.

If you're looking to learn some techniques of your own, you can follow along on Kristine's upcoming blog tour, with each stop offering a chance to win a copy of the book and one of the 4 dye kits pictured below!

Oct 23 DIY Network
Oct 26 Mason Dixon Knitting
Oct 28 Leethal
Oct 30 Mary Jane Mucklestone
Nov 2 Very Shannon
Nov 4 Make Something Blog
Nov 6 Our Daily Craft/Sarah White
Nov 9 Heather Ross
Nov 11 Tolt Yarn and Wool
Nov 16 Made by Katrina
Nov 18 Ysolda Teague
Nov 20 Jen Hewitt



We're Headed to the NY State Sheep & Wool Fest This Weekend!

If there's one thing that says "fall" around here, it's packing our books and heading up to Rhinebeck for the annual New York State Sheep & Wool Festival!

http://sheepandwool.com/

Please join us this weekend as we showcase some of our brand new needlearts books for the fall, bring back some STC Craft classics, and throw in a few goodies and giveaways. Stop by and meet celebrated knitting guru Clara Parkes on Saturday, 10/17, as she signs advance galleys of her newest travel memoir, Knitlandia, in advance of its spring 2016 publication. And stop by Saturday or Sunday (or both!) to meet and chat with dyeing expert and owner of STC Craft favorite A Verb for Keeping Warm Kristine Vejar, as she sells and signs copies of her first book, The Modern Natural Dyer, before it goes on sale next week!

Stop by and say hello in Building B, check out our books and sample projects, and sign up for the STC Craft newsletter for a chance to win a prize pack!

image credit www.omgheart.com


Stamp, Stencil, Paint Your Way to a Colorful Life!

Textile artist Anna Joyce believes that we should all live with color and pattern every day. Now, with the release of Stamp, Stencil, Paint, so can you!

In this beautiful and approachable new book, Anna Joyce shares her signature hand-printing techniques for adding color and pattern to ready-made surfaces like fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations, Anna’s distinctive projects showcase the beauty of the unexpected and the mark of the artist’s hand. Following beautiful step-by-step photography, you'll learn new, easy skills to stamp, stencil, and hand-paint wonderful projects for your homes, wardrobes, families, and friends.

Anna's joy for making things by hand is truly infectious, and if you're in Portland this weekend or New York the week after, you can see for yourself at one of her exciting tour stops:

Portland, Oregon Events


New York City Book Tour

Can't make it to one of the events above (or can't get enough of Anna)? You can still get involved and learn from her with this fabulous giveaway from our friends over at Creativebug, going on now! .

After a successful book tour, Sherri Lynn Wood is still making waves!

You may have met the multi-talented Sherri Lynn Wood on her cross-country tour to launch The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters this spring.

If you missed her, here are a few lovely recaps from events at Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill, NC; Sewingly Yours in Lewisville, NC; and Malaprops in Asheville, NC.

If you managed to catch Sherri on tour, then you may know that she received over 250 requests and 165 completed submissions for the ten test quilt scores in the book. You may have even seen some online or on display at recent shows like Modern Quilt Guild's QuiltCon in Austin earlier this spring.

Good news: if you happened to miss them (or if you can't get enough of them), you can join Sherri for a test quilt blog hop going on right now! Click the link above to see where test quilters will be showing off their variations of Sherri's test patterns, and get inspired to try one out on your own!

improvhandbookformodernquilters_p153.jpg

Have you tried one of Sherri's patterns from The Improv Handbook? If so, we'd love to see your results!

Sherri Lynn Wood's Improv Handbook Tour: The Full Schedule

Sherri Lynn Wood is taking the sewing and quilting world by storm with her new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. And now, she's crossing the country to help spread the word—and you can join her!

We kicked off the tour on Friday, May 8th, with a performance at Sew Modern in Los Angeles. Check out these bright and inspiring images plus a great recap from the event on Sherri's blog, Daintytime, here

SLW book tour 2.jpg
 
SLW book tour.jpg

And of course, make sure you catch Sherri when she comes to a city near you:

Saturday, May 16, 12 - 2 PM, Conversation

Rosie's Calico Corner, 7151 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92115

Sunday May 17, 9 AM - 4 PM, Teaching

San Diego MQG, Quilt in a Day, 1955 Diamond St., San Marcos, CA 92078. Register in advance. 

Thursday, May 28, 7 - 9 PM, Presentation

United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, (919) 942-3540

Friday, May 29, 6 - 8 PM, Performance

Thimble Pleasures, 225 South Elliott Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, (919) 968-6050

Sunday, May 31, 10 AM - 5 PM, Teaching

Triangle MQG, Durham Catering, 3710 Shannon Rd. Suite #117, Durham, NC 27707. Register in advance. 

Monday June 1, 5 - 7 PM, Presentation

Sewingly Yours (Triad Area), 1329 Lewisville-Clemmons Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023, (704) 575-9234

Tuesday, June 2, 4 - 6 PM, Conversation

Malaprops Bookstore, 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC, (828) 254-6734

Wednesday, June 3, 6 - 8 PM, Performance

Sewn Studios,3212 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209, (513) 321-0600

Friday, June 5, 3 - 5 PM, Presentation

International Quilt Study Center and Museum, 1523 N 33rd St, Lincoln, NE 68503, (402) 472-6850

Saturday, June 6, 5 - 7 PM, Performance

Fancy Tiger, 59 Broadway St, Denver, CO 80203, (303) 733-3855

Sunday, June 7, 9 AM - 3:30 PM, Teaching

Front Range MQG, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall 3, 15200 W 6th Ave Frontage Rd, Golden, CO 80401. Register in Advance.

Tuesday, June 9, 10 AM - 12 PM, Performance

Scrap Apple Quilts, 144 W. Brigham Rd. #23, St. George, UT 84790, (435) 628-8226

And if you can't join Sherri as she travels from state to state (or even if you can!), you can be part of the action by following along on her month-long blog tour this May.

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters is Coming to a Shop Near You

The final piece in our fabulous lineup of spring releases is Sherri Lynn Wood's Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously.

For the quilter looking to break free from the confines of step-by-step instructions and predictable patterns, Wood (of Daintytime.net) brings a flexible approach to quilting that knocks traditional instruction aside. Instead, she presents 10 frameworks (or scores) that create a guiding, but not limiting, structure.

To help quilters gain confidence, Wood also offers detailed lessons for stitching techniques key to improvisation, design and spontaneity exercises, and lessons on color.

Every quilt made from one of Wood’s scores will have common threads, but each one will look different because it reflects the maker’s unique interpretation. Featured throughout the book are Wood’s own quilts (more on view here!) and a gallery of contributor works chosen from among the hundreds submitted when she invited volunteers to test her scores during the making of this groundbreaking work. For inspiration, you can check out some variations on her Rhythmic Grid score in this image gallery.

Sherri is also coming to a shop or guild near you! Check back later this week with more info on her in-store national book tour. First stop: this Friday, 5/8, at 6:30 pm at Sew Modern in LA!

And that's not all—all month long, Sherri will be making digital appearances on favorite blogs from Sew Mama Sew to Spoonflower. Check out the full list of blog tour participants here!

And We're Off to QuiltCon!

We here at STC Craft have been very busy at the start of this year, working hard to shape up our fabulous 2015 lineup (More to come on that next week...)

In addition to prepping for some extraordinary spring titles, we've been making the rounds at plenty of shows. We hope any industry folks were able to catch the fabulous Amy Herzog previewing her new book, Knit Wear Love (out next month), in early January at TNNA in Phoenix. And same goes for any NY-area knitters: we hope you were able to stop by and meet some of our authors signing at Vogue Knitting Live in Manhattan last month!

Next up is the expansive (and growing!) QuiltCon event, put on by The Modern Quilt Guild, and beginning in Austin today! Will you be there? We're thrilled to partner with Austin-based Stitch Lab again this year, hosted at booth #216. We'll have books on sale, authors signing and displaying quilts, a special giveaway sweepstakes package with goodies from Windham and Aurifil, a preview of our spring books, and an advance launch of Sherri Lynn Wood's brand new book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.

Will you be at the show? Stop by and say hello!

Celebrate Fall by Knitting-A-Long with Guest Blogger and STC Craft Author Katie Startzman

Hello! I’m Katie Startzman, author of STC Craft’s The Knitted Slipper Book. I blog at Duo Fiberworks with my twin sister Laura Poulette. Thanks to STC Craft for inviting me to guest post here!


We will soon be deep into slipper season—blustery, gray days and downright cold starlit nights. As someone who delights in making and wearing slippers, I look forward to this time of year. It’s an opportunity of pile on the handknits, make lots of soup, and catch up on my reading by the woodstove. But we’re not quite there yet. Here in Kentucky, we still have a good long stretch of crisp Fall weather ahead of us, and the layers I put on in the morning get peeled off as the day warms up.

To celebrate the changing seasons, I wanted to do a knit-a-long that featured a pair of slippers that would be a good fit for this transitional time of year. The Cotton Loafers from The Knitted Slipper Book are shoe-like slippers that are made from soft organic cotton and rustic jute twine. They’re my knitted mash-up of boat shoes, espadrilles, and loafer moccs. They feature functional leather lacing, and the thick jute sole is sturdy and comfy.

 


I’ll be hosting the knit-a-long on my blog, over the next two weeks. In a series of posts, I’ll share tips and tricks to knitting these quick-to-finish, stylish slippers. You can view the first post here. Since many folks are unaccustomed to knitting with jute, I’ll also be sharing a free pattern that combines the cotton and jute to make a mini-tote.

Thanks to Blue Sky Alpacas, we have giveaways planned too—a sweet kit of organic worsted cotton yarn, jute, and a hand-stenciled canvas project bag made by yours truly.

**To enter the giveaway here, leave a comment between now and Friday, September 26 sharing something that you love about this time of year.** The winner will be announced on Monday, September 29.

Be sure to join us at Duo Fiberworks in the coming days to knit with us and for a chance to win a kit over there too. Here’s the schedule:

Monday, September 22:      Inspiration and design

Thursday, September 25:    Knitting the jute sole, project kit giveaway begins.     
    
Monday, September 29:      Knitting the slipper upper: Also share free pattern for the Bird Nest Mini-Tote

Thursday,  October 2:         Seaming and finishing details, announce giveaway winner

STC Craft Presents Wendy Bernard's Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary

Ready to learn something new, knitters? Check out the Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary, available starting today wherever books are sold. In this all-encompassing guide, designer Wendy Bernard does something no other author has done before—she presents instructions for working 150 popular stitch patterns four different ways: top down, bottom up, back and forth, and in the round.

Ready for some armchair travel? Then join STC Craft and Wendy and Blue Sky Alpacas for a 10-stop blog tour. Wendy will share different stitches and online tutorials at each stop, starting right now!

May 20: Knit and Tonic & Blue Sky Alpacas Blog - Blog tour kick-off

May 22: FreshStitches - Knits & Purls

May 24: Hey Jen Renee - Ribs

May 26: Very Shannon - Textured, Slipped, & Fancy

May 28: Miso Crafty Knits - Yarnovers & Eyelets

May 30: The Sweatshop of Love - Cables

June 3: Stockinette Zombies - Lace

June 4: Mari Knits - Colorwork

June 6: Lattes and Llamas - Hems & Edgings

June 21: Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast - Yarn.com podcast!

You can keep tabs on the blog tour by following Wendy on Twitter (@KnitTonicWendy) and Blue Sky Alpacas (@BlueSkyAlpacas), as well as Wendy's Ravelry page for updates and patterns. 

View our image gallery for sneak peeks at the interior.

Heather Ross Hits the Road with the How to Catch a Frog Book Tour!



Illustration © Heather Ross

 

Much of Heather Ross’s creative work has been inspired by her eccentric upbringing in the 1970s in a family of artists and idealists in a rural corner of Vermont, an environment defined by stunning natural beauty, creative and innovative living, and daily lessons in self-reliance. In How to Catch a Frog: And Other Stories of Family, Love, Dysfunction, Survival, and DIY, Ross retraces her path from bohemian childhood to adult life as an artist, entrepreneur, mother, and wife.

For the next couple of weeks Ross will be traveling the country to spread the word about her new book. Catch Heather for a reading and signing at a stop near you--and support your local bookstore! Every one who purchases a book at a book tour stop will also receive a special-edition print (see above right) from Heather. Plus, Heather will be previewing her new fabric line with Windham.

Heather's Schedule

May 10 @ 1PM: Corte Madera, CA - Book Passage in the SF Ferry Building (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

May 12 @ 7:30PM: Portland, OR - Powell’s City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St.)

May 13 @ 7:30PM: Denver, CO - Tattered Cover (2526 E. Colfax Ave.) 

May 14 @ 7PM: Austin, TX - Book People (603 North Lamar)

May 15 @ 7PM: Wayzata, MN - The Bookcase (824 East Lake St.)

May 17 @ 2PM: Chicago, IL - Book Cellar, hosted at the Sulzer Library (4455 N. Lincoln Ave.)

May 22 @ 7PM: Brooklyn, NY - Powerhouse Arena, NYC (37 Main St.)

Early praise for How to Catch a Frog:

These brave and beautiful stories reveal the essence of Heather's singular creative gift--her talent for turning chaos into something magical and unexpected, with resourcefulness, wit, and wisdom.

Denyse Schmidt, designer and artist 

You will be instantly smitten by this intoxicating memoir filled with truths, mystery, and magic. What a treasure to peek into the makings of this beautiful dreamer! 

Amy Butler, artist and author

Can't make the tour? Enter for a chance to win a free copy of the book via Goodreads!

STC Craft Authors at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC This Weekend!

Join STC Craft authors at Vogue Knitting Live! at the New York Marriott Marquis this weekend for signings at the Knitty City booth (#712 - 714), readings, and teaching sessions throughout the weekend.

STC Craft Author Schedule of Events: 

Clara Parkes, author of The Yarn Whisperer:

  • Signing: Saturday noon-1PM at Knitty City Booth
  • Reading: Saturday 3:30-4:30PM at Astor Ballroom

Kristy McGowan, author of More Modern Top-Down Knitting:

  • Signing: Saturday, 3-4PM at Knitty City Booth

Amy Herzog, author Knit to Flatter:

  • Lecture: Friday Evening
  • Signing: Sunday 11:30AM- 12:30PM at Knitty City Booth

Stop by, say hello, enjoy, get your books signed. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

The Yarn Whisperer Is Coming to a Town Near You!

Author and yarn expert Clara Parkes will be traveling from coast to coast to read from her new memoir, The Yarn Whisperer, beginning next week! In this captivating, poignant, laugh-out-loud funny collection of stories, Clara explores the role knitting has played throughout her life. At each stop she'll read a selection from the book and sign copies, conduct a light-hearted quiz show with her famous 'Claramels' as prizes, take questions from the audience, and stay until the last skein has been squeezed!

 

Hear what the critics are saying

"I see a lot of yarn books in this gig, and "Whisperer" is not only the best I've seen this year, it's one of my all-time faves. Seriously, it's that good." - The Oregonian

"I don't want to stop reading. Each chapter is a little jewel." - Knit Circus

Can't wait? Then listen to an excerpt from The Yarn Whisperer, read by Clara herself!

Don't miss Clara in your city! Tour dates & venues include*:

October 10 at 7pm - Seattle area, WA @ Third Place Books

October 11 at 6pm - San Francisco, CA @ Book Passage

October 12 at 4pm - Portland, OR @ Powell's Books

October 13 at 2pm - Pasadena, CA @ Vroman's Bookstore, featuring a special appearance of the Yarnover Truck!

October 14 at 7:30pm - Denver, CO @ Tattered Cover

October 15 at 7pm - Minneapolis area, MN @ The Bookcase

October 16 at 6pm - Chicago, IL @ Sulzer Library (with books provided by The Book Cellar)

October 17 at 6:30pm - Nashville, TN @ Parnassus Books (with support from beloved Nashville yarn shop Bliss Yarns)

October 19 & 20 at 11:30 am & 3pm - Rhinebeck, NY @ New York Sheep & Wool Festival (with books provided by Merritt Books)

October 24 at 7pm - Portland, ME @ Longfellow Books

 

*Copies will be available for purchase at all signings. Please be sure to support your local independent bookseller!

International Women's History Day is March 8

And we think this is a great time to say thank you to all of the women who have been sharing their knitting skills for centuries.
 

In My Grandmother's Knitting, Larissa Brown shares stories  from 26 of the most popular designers in the country about the grandmothers and other revered family members and friends who inspired them to knit.

In the quick video above,  Joelle Hoverson, Andrea Berman Price, and I talk about the role of knitting among women, past and present.

Do you want to show your appreciation for the person who inspired you to knit or a woman in history who has inspired you in some way? Here are some ideas:

--Tweet about her (or him) and use the hashtag #knittingherstory.

--Go to the My Grandmother's Knitting Facebook page and post a photo of yourself holding up a sign with the name of your teacher on it. Or check out the gallery of images already there (find out who taught kniterati like Kaffe Fassett and Clara Parkes how to knit) and post a comment.

--Post a photo on your own Facebook page or blog.

--Post a comment here (we always love that!)

--Or stick to the tried-and-true, old-fashioned way: Give her (or him) a call or send a note. Thank you, Merci, Muchas Gracias, etc. 

Introducing Craftcation--A New Conference for Indie, Crafty Business Owners

The internet offers us all sorts of information, resources, and even community, but here at STC Craft we're still big fans of a good, old-fashioned meetups. Whether we're hanging out with our friends and knitting at a coffee shop, taking a class at a local craft store, or attending a more formal event like VK Live or Alt Design Summit, we're just crazy about that face-to-face interaction with creative people. So, we were thrilled to hear about Craftcation, a new event happening March 22-23 in Ventura, California. The brainchild of Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell, Craftcation is a sure-to-be-inspiring conference for indie craft business owners who want to grow and maintain their businesses while building new skills. Tending to both the right and left sides of the brain, events on the schedule include business lectures and panels on marketing, social media, legal issues, and accounting, as well as hands-on workshops in subjects like sewing, canning and preserving, cooking, paper arts, and embroidery.

A few days ago we had the chance to ask Nicole (above right) some questions about her conference " baby" and here's what she had to say:

What inspired you to host Craftcation? How long have you been working on it?

When I started my own handmade business Random Nicole, eleven years ago in Los Angeles The Handmade Movement didn’t exist the way it does now. There were lots of people creating things in makeshift kitchen or dining room home ‘studios.’ Indie craft shows hadn’t surfaced yet. When I would meet a fellow maker at a farmer’s market, flea market, or church craft show where we were selling we would frantically exchange information on suppliers, places to sell, and the business side of crafting.

I started Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival in 2007 with my aunt and business partner Delilah Snell to provide a venue for emerging makers to showcase their goods. At our Patchwork shows Delilah and I noticed that same frenetic information-sharing between crafters that I’d engaged in when I began Random Nicole. We saw a need for an event bringing makers together to connect and share information.

Delilah and I were in Ventura last August scouting future Patchwork locations. We both realized that Ventura was the perfect spot for our dream event, an indie business and DIY conference and Craftcation was born. Since August, Craftcation has pretty much taken over our lives.

 Why do you think so many people are interested in developing craft-related businesses right now?

People are moving towards a more conscious way of living. We’re more aware of the impact our individual choices make on the world around us. We’re asking questions previous generations didn’t ask. How does buying a product made overseas affect our local economy? What materials are used to make the things we purchase and are those materials harmful for us or our environment? How is our food sourced and grown? Every single thing we spend our dollars on reflects our personal philosophies. Although we are in a recession many people don’t mind paying a little more for something if it’s organic or local. We’re beginning to live with less waste, which means maybe we don’t want to spend $40 on 3 T-shirts made overseas that may not stand the test of time but do want to spend $40 on ONE T-shirt that is made from sustainable bamboo, screen-printed with soy ink. and sewn by someone who lives in our town. Value is returning to handmade goods as well as to our time.

Technology has not only made the world ‘smaller’ but also made business more accessible. Anyone can go online and order business cards, open up a shop on Etsy, create a website or blog or learn how to sew. The internet has made it so simple for anyone to gain skills and put themselves out there.

The return to handmade things stems from this new way of living consciously coupled with convenient access to the tools people need to make, buy and sell things.

How did you choose the people who are speaking and teaching classes?

I connected with so many inspiring makers in my eleven years on the craft show circuit and through teaching classes at the brick and mortar studio/shop the craft kitchen that I owned. Delilah forged relationships through her eco-shop The Road Less Traveled, teaching workshops and her involvement in the Southern California food scene. Our seven years producing Patchwork also led to some lasting connections. We put together a list of everyone who we wanted to share their expertise with attendees at Craftcation and began sending emails.   

 Response from these craftelbrities was overwhelming and we’re proud to have industry leaders like Jenny Hart (Sublime Sticthing), Kathy Cano-Murillo (Crafty Chica), Cathy Callahan (Cathy of California), Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s Good Food), Aida Mollenkamp (host on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel) and 30+ more presenters.

What do you most hope attendees will get out the experience?

I want attendees to gain a better understanding of the business aspects of what they do and be able to implement what they learn into starting or growing their indie businesses. Garnering a sense of community with their peers and making lasting connections is also important. Building upon skills they already hold and learning new things in the hands-on craft workshops is fundamental to the Craftcation experience. Running your own business usually means working twice as hard for less money than if you worked for someone else, so I also hope attendees unwind and have fun at our community events like the BBQ Social, Happy Hour Meet & Greet, morning yoga, and '80s Dance Party.

How do you suggest that Craftcation attendees prepare themselves in advance so that they'll be able to get the most out of the experience?

Bring lots of business cards, a sample of your work, and be ready to take tons of notes. Research the presenters beforehand and prepare questions to ask them. This is an amazing opportunity to connect with leading industry professionals. Think about areas where you need help and outline what you want to learn so you can pick which workshops fit your needs. Bring clothes for cool nights and warm days, a banana clip and some leg warmers for the '80s dance party, and a bathing suit (the hotel is steps from the beach).

For more information about Craftcation visit  www.craftcationconference.com and get Craftcation updates on Facebook and Twitter.